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The Black Star of Kingston Perfect Paperback – July 13, 2015
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Top customer reviews
Not because it is the most well written book. Not because it is the most artistic book. Not even that it is the best book of his offerings. But Chesterton and his wife Frances would have loved how much this book loves children and the fiction that feeds their souls.
S.D. Smith is remarkable. He is not the most complex, elegant or flashy writer I have loved but he has to be one of the most humble and honest storytellers I have come across. His writing style is beautiful. I see much CS Lewis in his writing. His stories come from a love of his audience and a skill honed by the classic authors who nourished his soul. And this absolutely works.
This is a story which bears the hallmarks of a love of Middle Earth but not the same intention or mission. I think that the Lord sent JRR Tolkien into his time and place to create Middle Earth to answer the need of that time. To inspire the readers of post-war Europe who were complicit in the eradication of the Shire and the values that dwelled there.
In SD Smith's books we see a related but different passion. His stories speak to the hearts of those of us who are watching the culture crash into our values and rage against the virtue of our children. His stories are told from a more tender point of view and therefore take up residence in the moral imagination of the children of this era and inspire them to love what is lovely, good and beautiful.
Black Star is smaller/shorter than The Green Ember and has a different feel. It is less developed than the Green Ember and the characters are not quite as well drawn. That said, the story arc is really engaging and very powerful.
This is, without a doubt, the kind of book which will support the good we are trying to do in our homes. It is the kind of story which lives in the imagination and continues to whisper truth to the readers long after the book has been returned to the shelf.
Bravo, Mr. Smith. Bravo and many thanks.
This is another story about ordinary people (well, rabbits-who-are-people) caught up in extraordinary times, and I enjoyed the fact that the main character is a little older, and already somewhat developed. In fact, he's an apprentice coal-miner from a long line of coal miners, and it was a pleasure to see how the dedication, discipline, and forethought he had developed as an "ordinary" miner became the foundation for his greatest heroism.
If The Green Ember was about the beauty of art, the need to fight to protect beauty, and the anticipation of renewal, maybe The Black Star of Kingston is about the beauty of honest work, the value of people, and the great calling of making a safe place in a dangerous world.
But those are only the main themes and - themes aside - The Black Star of Kingston is a story of expedition, survival, battle, and adventure. And the illustrations by Zach Franzen are fantastic.
Truth. Goodness. Beauty. Loyalty. The worthiness to fight for what is good and right. All these are woven into the fabric of the Green Ember storyline, and especially so in the Black Star of Kingston, the "prequel" or backstory to the series' eponymous first volume.
This is a tale that is truly classic.
The author creates admirable characters like the kind King Whitson, the brave Fleck Blackstar and his loyal friends Galt and Burnley and Gavin whose bravery is found to save a life.